Some days are harder than others to conquer the blank page. Through experience, I’ve learned not to bother waiting for confidence to show up. Instead, I sit down and write. Because I pray regularly for my writing to be according to God’s will for me, I trust He’s leading me even when I don’t feel led.
To turn a Tina Turner phrase a bit: What’s feeling got to do with it?
Feelings are fickle. Faith is where it’s at—especially for inspirational writers.
Some of the best writing sessions happen just because we dared to show up. And when we pick up a pen even though we’re feeling down about our ability, it’s an opportunity for God to show up big with His.
For Christian writers who know they’re supposed to be writing, generous obedience begets generous blessing. First, there’s the satisfaction of having done the right thing. And second, there are the epiphany moments that often accompany our obedience.
God doesn’t need us to be full of self-confidence before we can write for Him. We just need to place our confidence in the One who called us to write. Each weekday morning, I face the crossroad of choosing to write—despite how I feel—rather than giving in to the easy road of dabbling in hobbies.
Since choosing to show up no matter what, I’ve written thousands more words than I did at this time last year. Not because I’m feeling confident as a writer, but because I have confidence God is going to show up on my pages too.
Without the Holy Spirit, we’re hopeless.
Since believers are never abandoned by our Helper, we don’t need to abandon our calling.
The Spirit gives us faith to overcome our difficult feelings.
Here are some tips to help us conquer the blank page:
• Establish a routine of showing up to write when you’re at your peak energy level.
• Include cozy rituals that bless your creative side. (e.g., nice background music, a lovely, scented wax warmer nearby, a fresh cup of coffee/tea, or whatever works for you.)
• Have rewards ready for you to enjoy when your writing session is done. (For me this includes crafting and craft video time.)
• Avoid slave-driving your muse. Know what your limit is and quit before you’re burned out. (I learned this the hard way. Rests and recreation are necessary for good mental and physical health. I take Sundays off and consider Saturdays optional.)
• Pray about your writing so that you can have the confidence God will help you conquer distractions, discouragement, and blank pages.
• Have a handy list of Bible verses that inspire you to conquer fear, blank pages, and other distractions. Here’s a link to some great Scriptures for writers: 10 Bible Verses for Christian Writers
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
When the music of our passion wanes, may faith cause words to wax eloquent on the page.
I hope this inspired you to write & conquer. (This post is an example of practicing what I preached. Nothing in me felt like writing. I’d already shown up and had success with my early morning writing, but I felt empty to pour out more. Instead of giving in to my feelings, I opened a Word Doc and obeyed the nudge to show up. And I’m so glad I did. (It also helps to write first drafts weeks in advance so that we have a chance to edit them with fresh eyes before posting them on the blog.)
Blessings as we continue to show up and show discouragement where the door is.
I'm nosy to know what your favorite motivational writing quote is?
Wendy L. Macdonald is an inspirational blogger and podcaster who loves to photograph nature on Vancouver Island. Her byline is: “My faith is not shallow because I’ve been rescued from the deep.”
Like you, when it comes to my writing in 2023, I'm 'choosing to show up no matter what'. There is something in those words that makes me resolutely pull my shoulders back. I've set some audacious goals for myself (see Lorrie Orr's Feb post) and now it's choosing to show up no matter what.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Wendy, for a lovely post - I enjoyed reading it early this morning. A good start to my day. Brenda xo
Thank you, dear Brenda. When I show up and my inner critic tries to derail my writing by telling me how stupid it is, I remember all first drafts need editing. And we can't edit if there's nothing to edit.Delete
Blessings as you write, my friend.
A few years ago, when I first started writing, I did an online course with James Scott Bell. As well as gaining lots of tips I remember him saying, "There is no such thing as writers block. You sit down and write 500 words, then you write another 500 words, and so on.” When I am tired and not feeling like writing I do this, some days with more success than others. But it fits with todays blog. Thanks, Wendy.ReplyDelete
James Scott Bell has written some excellent writing craft books. I've read at least one of them.Delete
Whenever I don't have the want to, I remember a poem I wrote ten years ago. It was on a day when my mood was as dismal as winter coastal weather. It turned out to be one of my most popular posts on my blog. It's personal proof the muse isn't bothered by our moods. It shows up if we do.
We do need to make exceptions for seasons such as grief and other crisis's. We're not robots.
Thanks Wendy for the encouraging words. I think my biggest thing to conqquer is lack of confidence; I need to trust the Holy Spirit more to guide me as I write. It also sounds like we have something else in common, since I'm also a crafter (I knit, crochet and do embroidery). What crafts do you do?ReplyDelete
I hear you, dear Elizabeth. Lack of confidence slows me down in so many ways. Knowing no one will see my first draft helps me get words down. Otherwise my fingers would freeze before they hit the keyboard.Delete
My favorite craft of late is handcrafting journals. It involves all kinds of things I was already was doing: Sewing, painting, sketching etc. I'm hooked. Crafting is a nice break from writing--isn't it?
You're right Wendy. And my crafting has inspired some of my writing.Delete
Thanks for your encouraging post, Wendy. For me, having all those unfinished drafts sitting in my computer files is a great incentive to show up.ReplyDelete
Thank you, dear Sandi.Delete
One thing about unfinished drafts is they still served our writing journey. The writing of them improved our craft. Our published works stand on the shoulders of our unpublished works.
Ooh! "Our published works stand on the shoulders of our unpublished works." That's a keeper!! Thanks, Wendy!Delete
As always, your words are full of wisdom and gentle encouragement. Thank you for "conquering" and sharing!ReplyDelete
Thank you, dear Tracy. I've always admired your ability to conquer the blank page and publish so many books. Blessings.Delete
Thank you for your words, Wendy. I hear your post loud and clear. This line jumped out at me. "Since believers are never abandoned by our Helper, we don’t need to abandon our calling." This is so good and a great motivation to persevere in our calling. Hugs to you my friend!ReplyDelete
Thank you, dear Alan. I was preaching this at me first. Blessings as we continue to persevere.Delete
Love the line ‘some of the best writing sessions happen just because we dared to show up.’ It is really all about God. Thanks for this reminder, Wendy.ReplyDelete
Thank you, dear Sharon. I know I can't do anything worthwhile without Him.Delete
This is my confidence: that God is going to show up. Amen. Thanks for your pithy post, Wendy!ReplyDelete
Thank you, dear Susan. Amen to having confidence that "God is going to show up." I need this reminder as I tackle some extra writing this week. :)Delete
"Some of the best writing sessions happen just because we dared to show up." So true, Wendy. You know the writing life.ReplyDelete
Much of the writing life for me is exactly this: Show up. Sit down. Start typing. Repeat. :)Delete